I've always had a certain fondness for men of the animated variety.
A memory lingers of being stuck outside Milan airport at three in the
two female friends waiting for planes back to England. A discussion arose
between the three of us over the most "do-able" Disney character
and we all chose a total fox- an animated fox. Literally. We're talking
paws and a tail here - yet still strangely hot. Remember Robin Hood from
Hood? We wanted him bad.
But back to 1988, North London. The weekly visits to my cousin's house
are leaving me hungry for more. Every time the shiny black paddle found
its way into my warm little hands I was transfixed for hours. I would
mope all the way back in the car back to our suburban Berkshire Sega-free
Until the Sunday that, upon arriving at my cousin's house, the chunky
Master System was no longer there. As we moved into the Nineties it had
replaced by the slick-as-oil Mega Drive, all 16-bit technology and supersmooth
graphics. My pixellated WonderBoy had been retired while this upstart
machine took its place.
But joy! The unwanted Master System was old news, and therefore up for
grabs and soon for the first time, I was taking my WonderBoy home with
first time we were alone in my bedroom together was a pretty nerve-wracking
experience. Would it be the same as before? The moment the opening logo
appeared on the screen - my WonderBoy with an axe slung jauntily over
one bare shoulder - I know this was love.
And so we went on and I was happy with him. Sure things were moving slowly,
but there's no need to rush things too early on. I worked my way through
levels, never getting beyond about the third or fourth level, but still
enjoying myself. Kinda like bases, though I wouldn't make the connection
until later in life.
Then one day, it just seemed to happen. As I played the game, I was getting
further and further. Past level four, past five, past six, seven. I had
reached level eight. The game only had nine levels. I was almost there.
Almost as far as I could go with WonderBoy.